The Aero LaunchPad is the best way to let your drone take flight

Planes have runways, helicopters have helipads, and drones have … well … concrete or grass. Considering how fragile drones can be, it’s amazing that the best solution for launching them up until now has been placing them on the ground and lifting off from there.


That all changes though with a new little accessory from Tether Tools. It’s called Aero LaunchPad and, as the name suggests, it’s a small, tripod-mountable platform designed to act as a liftoff and landing pad for drones.

Rather than kicking up the small pieces of dirt, grass, and gravel that are whirled around as drones rotors start to spin, the Aero LaunchPad enables drones to take off from a clean, elevated platform.

Not only does the Aero LaunchPad make for a clean surface for drones to life off from, when used with a tripod or light stand, it acts as a platform for making pre-flight and post-flight assessments. Batteries, propellers, gimbals, and everything else on the drone can be checked without the need to get down on your hands and knees.


Related: DJI Focus is a game changer for aerial drone video

The platform has been constructed from a lightweight aluminum composite and coated in a clever paint scheme reminiscent of helipad markings. At only three pounds, the Aero LaunchPad is light enough to carry around, but sturdy enough to be mounted to any 1/4″ or 3/8″ tripod mount.

The platform measures in at 18”x 16”, a size sufficient to ensure a secure platform for all but the most monstrous of drones. The 30-pound weight limit should also support almost any drone you throw its way.

The Aero LaunchPad comes with a lifetime warranty and retails for $230. It’s not cheap, but considering how much wear and tear it could save a far more expensive drone, it’s likely a worthwhile investment for serious operators.

Product Review

Yuneec’s Mantis Q will make you wish you bought a DJI drone

Yuneec’s high-end drones are arguably the ones to beat in terms of flight control, design, and their photographic capabilities. But the company has struggled to make a low-end drone that’s worth buying, and the Mantis Q is proof of that…
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

Own a drone? New rule means you have to change the way IDs are displayed

Registered drone owners will need to put their machine's ID number on the outside of the aircraft from February 23 in accordance with a new FAA rule. It means the ID can no longer be placed inside the drone's battery compartment.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.